It may be hard for life to get started

From: John Clark (
Date: Thu Jan 11 2001 - 09:20:37 MST

In today's issue of Nature a team of scientists from UCLA and the
Curtin University of Technology in Perth Australia present strong
evidence that liquid water existed on Earth at least 4.3 billion years ago,
400 million years earlier than previously thought. The oldest known fossil
is 3.85 billion years old and if we only started to get liquid water 3.9 billion
ago as had been believed then the origin of life, at least the simplest
forms of it, must have formed very quickly and thus be easy to do.
But if life needed those extra 400 million years to get started then it might
not be effortless for nature to produce even the most rudimentary life forms.
This may mean that simple life as well as the complex stuff like us is rare
in the universe.

      John K Clark

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